I know that it's January and most people have sworn off all foods lacking in health benefits, but if I could just tempt you to hold off until you taste these, you would not regret it. I was browsing through the annals of Design*Sponge when I discovered an article featuring Johnny Battles, founder of Sweeteeth Chocolate. I loved reading about his experiences with being a self-taught chocolatier and owner of a very successful shop in South Carolina; I don't know what would be more enjoyable than that kind of career!
Mr. Battles generously shared three chocolate truffle recipes, each sounding more delicious as I scrolled down the page. I chose to recreate the Rosemary Vanilla truffles and give them, in part, as Christmas gifts this past holiday.
As I know I have mentioned more than one time on this blog, I'm an enthusiastic foodie. I become wild-eyed at the sight of cheese rounds or crisp, white endives, and completely loose it over a glass of wine or perfectly cooked lamb chops. I'm so inspired by the mixture of unorthodox ingredients, as Mr. Battles has done in all three of his recipes on Design*Sponge; rosemary and vanilla would not be two flavors I would have associated before, but now it makes sense. Rosemary is a slightly sweet herb that adds something delightfully unusual to an otherwise predictable "vanilla truffle."
Rosemary Vanilla Truffles
Makes 40-50 tablespoon sized truffles
12 oz. dark chocolate (do not use baking chocolate)
4 oz. milk chocolate
10 oz. heavy cream
3 oz. corn syrup
2 oz. butter
1 vanilla bean (or 1/2 tbs vanilla extract)
Several small springs or pieces of fresh rosemary
Cocoa powder for dusting
Chop the chocolate into tiny bits and combine with the butter in a medium to large bowl and set aside. Wash your rosemary and add with the seeded vanilla bean (or extract) to the heavy cream and corn syrup in small saucepan, bringing to a rolling boil. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, bring the cream to a second boil and immediately pour through a strainer over the chocolate mixture, gently agitating until all the chocolate has come into contact with the hot cream. Let sit for about 3 minutes. Whisk the mixture (ganache) vigorously until it’s smooth and well combined. If any lumps remain, you can put the ganache in the microwave for short 10-second intervals, stirring gently between, until the ganache is completely smooth. Careful not to overheat!
Once you have achieved a smooth chocolate mixture, pour the contents into a container and cover with plastic wrap. Place the container in the refrigerator until firm and set, preferably overnight.
Sift cocoa powder into a large dish. Scoop out a small amount of chocolate with a spoon or melon baller and if not already so, roll into a round. Roll to cover in the cocoa powder. You can either serve them right away or put them in a sealed container and keep them in the fridge for up to two months.
Original recipe courtesy of Johnny Battles; I edited it slightly based on personal preference.
I purchased tiny take-out boxes from a nearby Chinese restaurant, lined them with parchment paper and wrapped them with twine for little holiday gifts! It was so much fun making these.